When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, too many people jump onto the latest trends and into the fast lane with them, without creating a sustainable foundation. They will cut out all sugar, quit smoking cold turkey, and force themselves to head to the gym at five or six in the morning all in the first week.
Although doing this works for some people, for the majority of us, it creates an unsustainable behavior pattern that causes us to burn out or become stressed when life throws us a curve ball. This is because when one takes on health changes that are drastic, without first learning how to balance their life, will end up mismanaging their energy stores resulting in imbalanced health goals, familial responsibilities, and professional duties.
With this said, we are going to take a look at what it means to be healthy and look at some tricks you can use to create doable, sustainable, and healthy habits that will ultimately allow you to live a healthier lifestyle.
What Does It Mean to Live a Healthy Lifestyle?
For most individuals, to live a healthy lifestyle means to maintain an appropriate weight, consume lots of fruits and vegetables, exercise on a regular basis, and get the required number of hours of sleep per night. In a lot of cases, someone who looks good and feels good would describe themselves as healthy, however, there’s a lot more to living a healthy lifestyle than one’s physical appearance.
A healthy person will also know how to properly manage their stress levels regardless of the source of stress, will know not to sit too much, drink too much, or eat too much, and will do everything they can to keep to moderate levels of negative consumption, whether this is with food, drink, or entertainment. Beyond this, someone who is healthy is also paying attention to their emotional well-being and their mental state of mind.
Now, all of this may seem like a lot to handle, especially if you are looking to change several of these areas. The good news is though, you do not have to make drastic changes and you do not have to do it all at once. The trick to living healthy is to make small, incremental changes, that are habit-forming, motivating, and that makes you feel good. Not to mention that making simple changes that do not take a lot of effort tend to stick for longer because they are so simple to do.
Simple Tricks To Use in the Kitchen With Your Meals
Choose to Use Herbs Instead of Sauces. Sauces tend to be packed with a lot of sugar and calories. Switching to herbs instead, will eliminate that sugar, reduce how many calories you are taking in, and will actually make your food more flavorful.
Consume Veggies With Every Meal. Not only will they keep you full for longer, but they are also a great way to stop from eating greasy snacks and artificial ingredients. Add spinach to your morning eggs, use slices of tomatoes on your wraps, or put sprouts on your sandwiches.
Consume Portable and Healthy Snacks to Beat the Afternoon Slump. Always have healthy snacks on you like fruits, veggies, and nuts. This will keep you from the vending machine or the fast food restaurant down the street.
Swap the Soda With Fruit-infused Water. Soda and other sugary beverages have tons of sugar in them, which when consumed, spikes your blood sugar levels and causes you to crash. Instead, add mint or citrus to water or drink unsweetened coconut water instead.
Purchase Smaller Plates and Bowls. This will help your portion out appropriate amounts of food to be eating during the day.
Learn to Like Black Coffee. If you are a heavy coffee drinker, chances are you put cream/milk and sugar in your coffee. The sugar and calories add up over time and can contribute to weight gain. Slowly wean yourself off cream/milk and sugar and learn to like black coffee. If this doesn’t work, consider replacing your coffee with black tea.
Simple Tricks to Get Yourself Moving More
When on the Phone, Pace While You Talk. Simple and easy to do, pacing back and forth while on the phone in a non-aggressive manner, will help you keep the blood moving and your circulation healthy.
On Your Lunch, Take a Walk. If you get a thirty-sixty minute lunch break at work, take it to head outside and walk. Although twenty minutes of exercise doesn’t seem like much, it adds up over time. On days you do not feel like walking, go outside anyways and enjoy the sunshine.
In the Morning, Skip Rope for 5 Minutes. Or do any other activity that you truly enjoy. Getting your heart rate up is important and there’s no better time to do it than the early morning.
Stretch When You Wake Up. Take some time to stretch in the morning. This will help your body become more flexible, will set the tone for the day, and will allow your muscles to adjust from being stagnate all night. And it feels good!
Take the Stairs, Not The Elevator. Although this may be hard at first, especially if you have to go up several flights, the more you do it, the easier it will get. These extra steps on a daily basis will make a huge difference in your physical well-being.
Simple Tricks for Your Mental Well-being
Stop Always Saying Yes. Only say yes to things you truly enjoy. Sometimes there is nothing better to do than focusing on some self-care. Outline the things that you say yes a lot too and take some time to reflect on whether they bring you any benefit. Only say yes to the ones that do.
Make Designated Adventure Days. Life is about discovery, about enjoyment, and not about logged hours. Designate specific days for adventure and get out and about. Not only will this help you move but it will help you experience new things and even cross off some bucket goals. You can use logged vacation days for adventure or designate the weekend as such.
Get Enough Sleep At Night! Being sleep-deprived isn’t good for your mental or physical health as it brings about poor memory, low energy, and changes in one’s personality. Getting enough sleep at night helps you form neural connections, repair your body, and recharge for the next day.
Practice Meditation or Even Just Downtime. With the amount of meditation applications that are available on mobile devices, there really isn’t any reason to not try meditation. There are some major benefits associated with it too, like more restful sleep, less stress and anxiety, and a better understanding of who you are and what your goals are.
If meditation isn’t right for you, consider designating 10-15 minutes a day to allow yourself to zone out. Lay down on the couch or in bed and allow your mind to recharge. Do not sit on your phone/tablet or watch anything on the television. Instead, just sit and quiet your mind and listen to the silence or some calming music. Doing this helps to recharge your brain.
Find More Things to Laugh At. Take a few minutes at the end of every day to find something funny to laugh at. This could have been something silly that happened during the day or from watching funny videos on Youtube. When you take the time to laugh, you reduce your stress levels, resolve anger, and calm down the soul.
Practice Crowding Out Rather Than Cutting Out. Guilt is something we all suffer from when we “cave” and consume junk food. Instead of feeling the need to cut out all of the bad habits, bad foods, and bad behaviors, focus on crowding them out with healthy habits. For example, instead of buying popcorn for movie nights, make your own at home out of organic corn and herbs, as this allows you to make a healthier alternative to store bought.
All-in-all, living a healthy lifestyle is all about bringing balance and incorporating easy-to-do behaviors into your daily routine. By using the above tricks, you can lead a healthier life without making unsustainable and drastic changes.